We are delighted to announce a partnership with the Scotland’s oldest university that will see our photography become part of one of country’s most important photographic archives.
This new collaboration between the University of St Andrews and Document Scotland will unite some of the oldest photographs in Scotland with contemporary documentary images. The initiative will see the university – custodians of the oldest photographic collection in the country – support our photographers’ work on current projects. Between us, we will develop a rich new strand to the collection that will ultimately form a unique cultural resource for generations to come.
This will mean that images being made today by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, Stephen McLaren, Sophie Gerrard and Colin McPherson will reside in the archive alongside work by early photographic pioneers such as Hill and Adamson, John Thomson, Thomas Annan and James Valentine.
The four members of Document Scotland are currently working on projects which reflect the current state of the nation. As a non-political collective, Document Scotland’s work looks at stories, themes and ideas which form a backdrop to current affairs. This important new strategic partnership will support contemporary photography at this pivotal time in Scotland’s modern history.
Colin McPherson commented, “We are very excited about this partnership with one of the world’s most celebrated and important photography collections. The financial and logistical support offered to us by the University of St Andrews will allow Document Scotland to record what is happening in the country today and continue the important work of creating a visual legacy for this and future generations. We look forward to working with the university’s Special Collections Division and contributing to their extensive and world-renowned photography archive.”
The university’s Special Collections Division holds over 800,000 images from the 1840s onwards. Building upon the strength of its 19th and 20th century holdings, the partnership with Document Scotland launches a new forward-looking direction for the future character of the Photographic Collection. The University of St Andrews is funding a substantial acquisition of new work by Document Scotland to be incorporated into the Library’s historic Photographic Collection. By proactively building relationships with Scotland’s photographic community, the university aims to both support and safeguard contemporary, socially relevant and poignant documentary photography for future scholarship and discovery.
The University’s Photographic Archivist, Marc Boulay, said, “Our reputation was built on the strength of our holdings of Scotland’s earliest photographic practitioners. But our collection needs to look to the future. If we are to represent the visual heritage of Scotland, it is essential that we support talented photographers who are creating vibrant and engaging work today. Our bonds with these photographers will ensure that the future of our collection is rich, providing a uniquely Scottish cultural resource.”
Document Scotland are looking forward to working with the University of St. Andrews and thank Marc Boulay and his colleagues for their interest in, and support for, our work.